Extract from Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address

Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high minded to endure the degradations of the others, possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation, entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them, enlightened by a benign religion, professed indeed and practised in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude and the love of man, acknowledging and adoring an overruling providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here, and his greater happiness hereafter; with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?

MS (DLC 110: 18836–7). Transcription based on text published in Washington National Intelligencer, 4 Mar. 1801, and Jefferson’s manuscript (DLC 110: 18836–7). Published in PTJ, 33:134–52.
Author
Thomas Jefferson
Date Range
Date
March 4, 1801
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Quote Category